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Thursday, July 04, 2013

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Yeah, yeah, I know, OBP, OBP, defense, defense... but don't look now - 'cause this lineup would win some games if the team had a freakin' bullpen.

AVG:
.290 (Revere)
.282 (Utley)
.264 (Rollins)
.266 (Howard)
.279 (Brown)
.273 (Young)
.286 (Frandsen)
.278 (Ruiz)

That's a 277 average, average. (BTW, the OBP for that same group would be .336)

- With Young to lead off if he is starting instead of Frandsen and with Frandsen starting for Howard against LH starters.


OK. Let the hating commence.

1-This is the All-Agita bullpen. 2-Find a way to keep playing Frandsen.

Denard Span: .258 AVG/.665 OPS, $4.75 Million
Ben Revere: .290 AVG/.659 OPS, $515 K

Give Rube credit for a job well done there.

@Phlipper: I agree. For all the crap we give the team, Cholly, and Amaro, it's not far from being a decent team.
Utley missing games over the last three seasons isn't something anyone can do anything about. Ruiz' suspension didn't help. Halladay's injury doesn't help.

There are some either way type issues. I'm fine with Revere. I wish he looked more comfortable in center field and had more of an arm. Mayberry could have improved over the years but he doesn't seem to have. Michael Young isn't going to make it around the bases very fast, or have a big range, but he's solid.

Then there are some that look pretty ugly. Elmn Young on defense, the basepaths, or in most of his at bats regardless of him being on a miniature hot streak. Mini-mart.

The only two real issues I have are with the payroll (as much as we're spending, we should be deeper and better). And with the disaster of a bullpen. How many games under replacement are these guys? Six or Seven? If you move six or seven games from the loss to the win column, and then you're looking towards Utley and Ruiz now being back, Lee Hamels Kendrick plus Pettibone/Lannan with Halladay maybe even making it back.
They built a team on pitching but have no bullpen. I think we still lead the league in quality starts and inherited runners that score. Quality starts don't help if your 7th and 8th inning are utter disasters.

We're not going anywhere because the team just can't click. When we pitch well we hit poorly or play defense poorly and vice versa. Without those bullpen losses, there might be a case that with guys coming back and the lineup being arranged better lately, we could make a run and then bank on pitching in the playoffs. But it's too late for that. Blame it on the bullpen.

Phils tied for 5th in the NL in OPS - with garbage most of the year at catcher (Kratz .726, Quntero .576 and Galvis ( .637) getting ABs for much of the year at 2nd base.

This team would be in contention if it had a freakin' bullpen.

Is it true that 7 of our last 15 losses are bullpen?

I wouldn't say garbage at catcher. To be fair, Kratz was actually starting to hit when he got injured.

Nice to see Cole look decent again.

And it's nice to see Ben Revere playing at a high level. I always said he would get there and now he has. Okay, that's not what I said. But he is actually okay. Not in love with his small ball or defense. And his baserunning is suboptimal for a fast guy. But if he can get on base, he's okay. And leadoff is where he should be hitting. Hear that Charlie? It's either first or ninth. So it needs to be first.

K-Rod and Steve Cishek please

I don't know how many losses are on our bullpen, but I just did some back of the napkin numbers.

Our bullpen has inherited 105 runners (NL avg is 104) and has allowed 41 of them to score (NL avg is 30). So we lead the NL there, allowing 39% of inherited runners to score. Next highest is LAD at 34%. (The Pirates, incidentally, lead the league - allowing only 17% of inherited runners to score. Wonder if that has anything to do with their record).

Our bullpen pitchers have been charged with 112 earned runs (and 9 unearned) in 215.8 innings pitched. That's an ERA of 4.67. Then we can add in the inherited runners.

Our bullpen averages 2.5 innings of relief per game. They let in 0.71 runners per inning (including inherited runners). So on average, when our starter leaves a game, we'll let in 1.78 runs before the game is over.

Don't quote me on those, as I spent about five minutes on that. But it's fair to say our bullpen really, really makes it hard to win a lot of games.

Addendum: quite a few of those earned runs also count as inherited runners for the next bullpen guy, so the real figure is lower than what's posted above.

That said, it's still going to be ugly.

"To be fair, Kratz was actually starting to hit when he got injured."

Sure - and that got him up to .726 OPS. Granted, it's actually considerably higher than Ruiz's 2013 OPS - but won't be by the end of the year.

rockaintdeadyet: nice numbers. A man after my own heart.

I also appreciate NEPP's Revere/Span comparison.

Sweep the Braves. Keep hope alive until the trade deadline.

"They built a team on pitching but have no bullpen. I think we still lead the league in quality starts and inherited runners that score. Quality starts don't help if your 7th and 8th inning are utter disasters."

I love the irony of building a team on pitching without having a good BP. Especially since we had a very similar problem last year.

To be fair to RAJ, he did try to make corrections. You can argue about the wisdom of the moves he made and whether he devoted enough money to improving the BP. But I don't think he had a ton of $$ to play with. He gambled on Adams and lost due to injury - it had looked for a while like Adams would pan out. Would have helped enormously if he had.

I think RAJ also tried to spend a minimum of $ to improve offense, sacrificing defense to do so (Again, you can argue the wisdom of his choices from both an offensive and a defensive point of view). The defense really bugs me. But the BP is so bad that it gives a feeling of futility, like it did last year, too.

I'd like to know what the plan is to improve the BP in future.

The thought that but for a better BP we'd be contending is so frustrating.

Howard continues to be a concern. His power has almost evaporated and it seems his bat speed is slower. Something is wrong. If nothing improves in the Braves series, will it be time to DL him and bring up Ruf or Field?

That 5-5 trip should have been 7-3 but felt like 2-8.

And people are back on haha

Brandon Lyon, a guy MG wouldn't shut up about in the offseason, released by the Mets after a god awful year.

He'd probably be the second or third best guy in the bullpen if Amaro picked him up.

Phlipper: The Phillies offense has scored 3.86 runs per game, 4th worst in the NL.

Enjoy trying to find stats that say their offense isn't below average, but they're meaningless as long as the team scores the 4th worst runs per game.

Brandon Lyon was far from the top of my list, but i certainly had him above Durbin.

Brandon Lyon beat me at horseshoes. Twice.

oh yeah and don't think i'm singling out the offense.

our starting pitching's ERA is below average too.

This team sucks all over. A bullpen upgrade will help this team suck less, not be good, and certainly not a top 5 team in the league to make the playoffs.

I apologize, I forgot to call the defense terrible too.

Fielding stats aren't too reliable, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Baseball Info Solution's "Defensive Runs Saved" rating the Phils as the worst team in the NL isn't a good thing.

Yeah, let's trade the rest of whatever is left to upgrade the bullpen (something 20 other teams are also trying to do) so they can win 80 games.

Lorecore said it more eloquently.

Frandsen with his 7th plunking of the year. His plunks per PA are up there with the best of 'em.

keep the hats

clout: I'd like to point out that if the Phillies could trade Papelbon (or any player) for a good team controlled player with MLB experience,I would.

You're the first person to call out someone for thinking up crazy trade ideas. So please enlighten us on what teams are parting with what impact players from their current MLB roster for the Phillies tradeable players, before you blabber on about why others prospect talk is foolish.

Actually nevermind, don't bother. You're worthless reply will just include random rhetorical questions and/or made up arguments no one ever made.

Looking at the last two drafts, and the hitters the philles got. There is a lot to like right now. Dugan has to move to AA. Then at all levels there are up to 2 or more to watch per level. Dyan C 3rd homer tonight. Add zac green and his 4. Crawford pierce and sandberg have stayed constiant.

Jesse Crain hit the DL with a shoulder strain, arguably the most desired reliever on the trading block.

Papelbon's trade value takes a jump up.

lorecore -


Phils are within .08 RPG (about seven runs, total) of Pitt and Mil, .09 RPG of the Mets (about 8 runs), .14 RPG (about 12 runs) of SF and SD. 13 more runs total and they'd be in the middle of the pack. There are a handful of really good offenses and then there is the rest. Saying that they're 4th worst as compared to large % of the teams above them is pretty meaningless.

Yes, the amount of runs they've scored is more reflective of how they've played than their OPS - but it isn't really more predictive of how they'll do going forward.

They actually haven't been that bad w/ RISP - but they've been terrible with the bases loaded (.160).

Anyway, like I said - a decent bullpen and this team would have another 4 or 5 wins at minimum - and they'd be in the mix. Don't know why that bugs you so much.


'13 more runs and they'd be in the middle of the pack'

If the Phillies bullpen gave up 13 less runs, they'd be in the middle of the pack too.

So with a decent offense, this team would another 4 or 5 wins at minimum, and they'd be in the mix. Don't know why that bugs you so much.

Another great thing about Denard Span: his cool .407 OPS against LHP this season. They've actually started benching him against lefties.

WAR just loves Span, which you'd know just by reading how guys like Dave Cameron at Fangraphs gush over him. But overall, he isn't any better than Revere. The Nats missed Span's one great year, and the years where he was cheap enough that his deficiencies weren't glaring. He's $4.5 million this year and I believe $6+ million next year. His option year is something ridiculous like $9 million. There's is little chance Rizzo picks that up.

Amaro picked the right CF. Span is not the player he was four seasons ago; not even close. When Revere becomes much more expensive, I'll have the same opinion of him I have of Span (unless he takes huge steps forward in his game, which at his age, is still possible).

"If the Phillies bullpen gave up 13 less runs, they'd be in the middle of the pack too."

Actually, they wouldn't.

13 fewer runs by the bullpen and they wouldn't be in the middle of the pack.

And it isn't a parallel stat anyway - you have to consider how far they are from the middle of the pack in terms of percentages.

Middle of the pack bullpen ERA = @ 3.60. Phils' bullpen ERA is 4.59. The difference is 27%

The difference between the Phis' RPG and league average is 5.4%

Don't know why that bothers you so much.

This offense v bullpen argument is one that will never die.

I'm more inclined to believe that the bullpen's blown leads have more to do with the current record than an offense that is actually scoring more consistently than it did during May-June of 2011, when they were 10 games over .500 for those two months. But it's all just speculative. The offense has sucked and if it were better, they'd have more wins. Same with the defense.

The difference is that the bullpen was easily fixable in the off-season. The offense would have been much more expensive and difficult to fix. Amaro failed at both, but any poster here could've put together a better bullpen than he did in the offseason.

And BTW - to be in the middle of the pack in league rankings in RPG, they would only have to improve by 3.6%

Hmmm. 27.5% or 3.6%. Help me out, lorecore - are they not much, much closer to league average in their offense than in their bullpen?

iceman: Lets not pretend WAR just randomly likes Span, its because he plays better CF than Revere. However I agree, to the tune of the $$ owed and level of prospect traded in exchange, the defense certainly doesn't make up for it as you stated.

"And BTW - to be in the middle of the pack in league rankings in RPG, they would only have to improve by 3.6%"

The difference between their distance behind league average RPG (5.4%) and middle of the pack in rankings of RPG (3.6%) reflects what I said - there are a few really good offenses (that skew the stats) and basically, the rest.

phlipper: the bullpen is by far the worst part of the team.

Which makes your 'if only they had a decent pen' such a outlandish request. It's like saying if the Marlins had a decent offense, they'd be in the mix.

Marlins take the lead.

If the Phillies had a decent bullpen, they would probably be 5 games out instead of 10 right now. And RAJ would be figuring out whether Biddle and Franco would be enough to get Jason Bay & Brendan Ryan, or whether he should also throw in Pettibone. With all our veteran players still on hand, we'd end up missing the playoffs by 9 games instead of 15 games. We'd have a worse draft pick and we'd have squandered our opportunity to get something of value for Utley, Young, and Chooch. Papelbon would still be here on opening day 2014, only he'd still be rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery he had in September.

So I'd like to propose a toast to our crappy bullpen. They might just be the only thing that saves RAJ from himself.

"Which makes your 'if only they had a decent pen' such a outlandish request. It's like saying if the Marlins had a decent offense, they'd be in the mix."

Well, maybe, but it doesn't make it untrue. If the team had a decent bullpen, they'd be in the mix. They are pretty much league average in offense. They aren't close to league average in their bullpen.

Then there's the issue of which would be easier to fix. Which do you think, theoretically, would be easier to fix - the Marlins' offense or the Phils' bullpen? Or do you think they'd require about the same amount of money/player/trades?

"So I'd like to propose a toast to our crappy bullpen."

Heh. If you suggested to BAP that he actually enjoys watching the team lose he'd no doubt take umbrage.

But here we have him proposing a toast because the team is pretty much out of the playoffs as opposed to in the mix.

"So I'd like to propose a toast to our crappy bullpen. They might just be the only thing that saves RAJ from himself."

BAP- I'd drink to damn near anything, but that's pushing it!

Marlins just beat the Braves. We say this about every series, but the upcoming Nats/Braves games will truly determine the fate of the team for the rest of the season.

I don't understand the acrimonious vociferousness of the bullpen vs. offense argument. Can't we all just agree they both have an exciting opportunity to improve?

"Can't we all just agree they both have an exciting opportunity to improve?"

Ha. Must be a joke because no Philly fan is that positive.

I think it's kind of funny that BAP is making fun of who Amaro will target and what prospects he'll give up at the deadline. The only deal for MLB talent that he ever screwed up badly was the Pence acquisition- a trade that BAP still defends to this day.

OK. let's review the facts:

1. Whenever anyone criticizes the bullpen, lorecore is the first poster to say, "Hey what about he offense?"

2. When someone criticizes the offense but doesn't mention the bullpen, lorecore is silent. When someone points this out, he gets all defensive.

3. lorecore has never once suggested trading a veteran for an MLB player. He has only mentioned trading for prospects, until his post in this thread. A first! Maybe I'm getting through to him.

Phlipper: BAP is consistent. He's been down on the team since his first post on BL. In 2007, he was one who said repeatedly the Phillies couldn't possibly win the division, they could only make it as the wild card. He has been wrong on more things more times than any single poster. That is very hard to do on BL.

If you paid any attention, I only react when people claim that a better bullpen will somehow turn the team around. I've been as consistent as possible in saying that the bullpen sucks, along with the offense, the starting pitching, the defense, and the managing.

clout: What contender is giving up valuable MLB players? Why should I waste time speculating how to trade for Austin Jackson or Max Scherzer?

Ibanez 257/306/564/871 21HR 49RBI 62K in 241AB. Salary 2.75. 41 years old and we know he is slow and has a noodle arm.

Howard 266/319/457/777 10HR 42 RBI 95K in 282 AB. Salary 20M. 33 years old, hurt, slow and has warning track power.

Many have said salary doesn't matter. Oh yeah? We partially have a crappy bullpen because Howard is stealing his paycheck and Rube didn't have the $ to get some decent arms. Is the BP all of the problem? No the offense is slow and old and have too many games with a whopping 6 hits. All the stars had to align for this team to contend, it ain't happening folks.

Looking forward to the upcoming Nats/Braves/White Sox games. As noted by an earlier poster, this homestand actually is important for a change. By the 15th, there will be a season or it'll be "see ya next year."

It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on the BP. The idea is to fill 4 or 5 slots with guys who are young and cheap and talented. The Phils got two out of three things right.

My thoughts on bullpens in general: They stink. They all stink. The reason bullpens can be good is because: (1) the pitchers are all having great/career years; and/or (2) they are used correctly by their manager/pitching coach.

Look no further than the Phils' 'pen in 2008. Careers years and used properly. Lidge, JC Romero, Chard Durbin, Clay Condrey, et al. How many good years did those guys have after 2008? The stars aligned and they were good. Charlie could paint-by-number and it worked out. That's all there was to it, really.

Throwing money at trying to creating a bullpen is a complete waste of resources (outside of getting a closer and MAYBE a set-up man). To me, RPs in innings 5-8 is dumb luck and favorable timing.

That's just my opinion, though.

I'd like to see UC have the creativity to bat the pitcher 8th (especially if it's Lee) and Revere ninth once in a while, just like I did in St. Louis. That way, Revere has a chance to be a second leadoff hitter, and if he'd learn actually HOW to get good leads (where is Davey Lopes when we need him?) he could steal and avoid M Young erasing him on a DP. I suspect the chances of that lineup machination happening are as likely as the Big Piece (of dung) hitting 20 homeruns against lefties in the second half of the season.

rbill: i agree that reliever performance from year to year - outside of the top few % - is very volatile.

However, I disagree that a good bullpen can not be bought. In the case of any volatile market, diversifying how your money spent is always a wise move.

If you can sign around 6 MLB vets for around $2-$3M a pop, and then mix in around 6 arms from your system, you're basically only committing around $20M a year to the bullpen. Now all you need is about 3 of those ~12 guys to have good years, another couple to be average, and another to be serviceable.

Can someone explain to me why Ben Revere has been caught stealing 8 times? That's inexcusable and points to the fact that this organization can't maximize potential. It's July 5th and we still haven't found the flaws that keep getting him gunned down?

Relievers are a pure crapshoot. Always have been, always will which is why you hardly ever want to sign them to multiyear deals. And you certainly don't want to make a guy who throws 60 innings a year one of your bigger expenses. It's better to have 6 guys making $13M a year instead of 1. If you get 2 of the 6 to hit as solid contributors then you aren't doing too bad.

Joe D: If only we had some sort of coach who could teach the finer points of base stealing. Maybe also coach 1st base while holding a stop watch. That guy would be worth a lot of money...

I get what Lopes meant to this team but you mean to tell me there is no other coach on the planet than can make a guy of Revere's speed into a productive base stealer? I just don't buy it. Samuel is pretty much a stone cold idiot though and showed as much in his time over at 3rd.

apparently not.

Don't know what they showed on TV but, Revere did like Lonnie Smith when he went to steal in the first. Nearly landed on his face. The funny part of it is that he spent so much time digging in the area where he took his lead / made his first step that a guy next to me told Samuel to get him a rake. Guess he just couldn't find firm ground.

Cesar started his first career game in CF last night for AAA. Not sure if that's going to be a thing, or just an oddity of a july 4 doubleheader.

It's probably a serious move with Hernandez. We are after all talking about a team that played Michael Martinez in center.

Of course the bullpen stinks (and also the offense and starting pitching and defense and baserunning and virutally anything else you can think of are bad).

Here's the issue. With relievers, it's easy now to say "he should have done better." But how many people were upset about the Adams deal? Most people agreed there were two elite setup men available--Adams and Uehara. For whatever reason (it eludes me), most people actually supported signing Adams over Uehara. It turns out Uehara would've been much better. But the point is, there were two available, he chose one, and it was the wrong one. But it was supported by everyone here at the time.

Now, what other guys could he have gotten? True, he could've signed Matt Lindstrom, who's been I suppose a decent reliever this year (though his underlying numbers are basically equivalent to Justin DeFratus). Or he could've signed Brandon Lyon, who was DFAed. He could've signed Kevin Gregg, who got a minor league deal from the Dodgers, opted out and signed with the Cubs, and is now their closer. Or he could've signed Chad Durbin, and we see how that turned out.

Those guys were all basically viewed the same. Now, on the one hand, it's a crapshoot. On the other, you can say when your GM consistently makes the wrong decisions--he isn't good at his job.

But just remember...Jack says I'm not fungible.

Dugan to Reading. The AA squad is slowly becoming watchable.

"The only deal for MLB talent that he ever screwed up badly was the Pence acquisition- a trade that BAP still defends to this day."

If you'd told me at the time of the trade that we were only going to keep Pence for a year, and that we'd trade him for a catching prospect in the midst of a piss poor season, and who might not have the defensive abilities to stick at catcher, then I damn sure wouldn't have defended the trade. But if Pence were still here, putting up a 126 OPS+ for the Phillies, while stealing 13 bases in 13 attempts, yeah, I tend to think we might have a better record right now.

BAP: but then we wouldn't have signed the Yak roaming right field!

The biggest bullpen question I have is: why has Bastardo become so hittable? He averaged about 5.5 H/9 over 2011-12, and now he's up to 9 H/9. That's crazy. The walks were tolerable when they weren't followed by hits.

I've also spent a lot of digital ink defending the Pence acquisition, including the price paid - which I feel was steep but a worthwhile wager at the time, given the stakes. I also defend that trade to this day.

And like BAP, I think the way the overall sequence of events including Pence's departure and the return on that part of the transaction was a horrible debacle.

But I know nobody's mind will be changed at this point, so it doesn't need to be rehashed.

My opinion of Amaro keeps wavering - he has done some shrewd positive things and some infuriating things -- Small Sample Size for Executives. How he handles the sell-off will add enough data that we can start to assess his true talent level. I am hopeful, but not optimistic.

I didn't have a big issue with moving Pence last year as he was a frequent liability in the field, had regressed at the plate, and looked to not be worth the money he had coming in arbitration. However, my interpretation of the move at the time was that the Phils wanted to get under the lux. tax threshold for '12 with the intention of exceeding it in '13, in part, with an upgrade in the outfield. They didn't do that and Pence would look good in RF this year in comparison to the gimp.

bittel: He's not only allowing more hits but his walk rate is a career-high & his strikeouts are down by 5.0 per game, which is enormous. In fact, "enormous" somehow doesn't seem descriptive enough. If there's a word that means something bigger than enormous, that's the word that describes a drop of 5.0 Ks per 9 innings.

My problem with the Pence trade is that he was a luxury we did not need in the 2011 season.

What we could have in 2013 does not change that for me.

It was one move too many by Rube and he gave up a heavy price for the guy.

Rumor is that Boston is refusing to trade Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bogaerts in any deadline deal.

I wonder if that means Middlebrooks would be available instead.

From last year, yes, but when he was most effective his strikeout were only about 2 per 9 better (still a lot). He was a brilliant pitcher for about five months of 2011. Not just very good, absolutely brilliant. It's just gone.

TTI: That still leaves Ranaudo & Cecchini as pretty tempting pieces as well. with Iglasias hitting .400 right now and with amazing D, the Xandy Man, Middlebrooks, & Cecchini Boston is overloaded with young players on the left side of the infield.

J.P. Crawford, our 1st round pick, is actually off to a really nice start to his pro career. Has had at least 1 hit and 1 stolen base in each of his first 5 games and has stolen a base in all but 1 of those games. No errors yet, either, which is a very good sign for an 18-year old shortstop.

What would we do with a high strikeout 3 rd/1st baseman! Also, if Cesar can be taught the OF he could easily replace Nix. Well, anyone could do that.

Bastardo is giving up a lot more hits per inning because a lot more balls are being into play.

If he was still striking out a batter for every 3 he faced (33 K% in 2011-12), then not only are less batters putting it in play, but he's recording more outs for short innings, period.

Bastardo faced 4.08 hitters an inning in 2011-12. Or in better terms, it took him barely over 4 batters to record 3 outs.

In 2013, he's facing an average of 4.50 hitters before getting 3 outs. So basically, he needs to face an extra hitter this season to get 6 outs than the last seasons.

How he handles the sell-off will add enough data that we can start to assess his true talent level. I am hopeful, but not optimistic. - Mick O
--
A GM who presided over the steady decline of a championship team, should never EVER be allowed to execute the rebuild.

another way to look at it:

2011 bastardo had an unsustainable .197 BABIP, but managable other stats.
2012 bastardo had an unsustainable 36 K%, but managable other stats.
2013 bastardo just has managable stats.

to clarify, a 36 K% is sustainable if you have some of the filthiest stuff in mlb history. Not sure he fits that bill, which is why is referred to it as such.

Position Prospect Update:

Cesar Hernandez, a 23-year old potential 2B of the future, has a slash line of 310/377/408 at AAA in 310 PAs. That's an improvement over his 291/329/404 from last season in time split between AA and AAA. He also has 26 stolen bases and plays solid defense. Nothing this year suggests he's not a true prospect. He won't bring Utley's power to the table, but is still legit.

Cody Asche, perhaps the next starting 3B for the Phillies (also 23 years old), has a slash line of 284/346/450 in 356 PAs at AAA. He is both walking more and striking out more than he did last season in time split between high-A ball and AA. His glove is average. He may get some time on the Phillies hot corner, but he's looking more like a warm body until Maikel Franco is ready.

Darin Ruf, less like a prospect today than he was, sports a slash line of 267/345/410 in 345 PAs at AAA. He's done little this year to warrant a call up. He's striking out at a higher rate and showing significantly less power. His defense is still suspect at best.

Tommy Joseph, the top C prospect coming into the season, is having a lost season at age 21. He was struggling with a slash line of 209/264/358 at AAA before suffering a concussion. He has just 4 hits in 42 at bats at high A ball as he works his way back.

Maikel Franco, the Phillies top positional prosect, a 20-year old 3B, has a combined slash line of 319/361/598 in 349 PAs at high A ball and AA. There's really nothing bad to say about this breakout season. Scouts love his bat. His glove is good enough to stay at 3B. He has both easy power at age 20 and doesn't have a high strikeout rate. He could improve his walk rate, but he's still young.

Tyson Gillies, the only member of the Cliff Lee 3 to not make it to the Phillies yet, has done little to suggest he's the CF of the future. At 24 years old, he's quickly approaching now or never territory. His slash line of 241/307/422 in time split between AA and AAA is okay, but not inspiring. His OBP, in particular, has suffered this year. Without improvement soon, it will be time to turn the page on Gillies.

Sebastian Valle, the 22 year old catching prospect, has a slash line of 223/252/376 in 211 PAs at AA. Absent Tommy Joseph, Valle likely would have started the season at AAA. And even with Joseph's injury, Valle remains at AA due to his uninspiring performance thus far. Still time for both prospects to develop, but with Chooch a FA after this season, there's a big question mark about next year.

Cameron Perkins, a 2012 college draft pick and 22-year old surprise prospect, has a gaudy slash line of 337/381/513 in 217 PAs in high A ball. I'd expect to see him move up the chain soon. He's not a natural OF, but that's where he's been playing and learning. The expectation is that he'll be able to handle it defensively.

Kelly Dugan, the Phils top pick (2nd round) last year and 22-year old OF prospect, has an impressive slash line of 318/401/539 in 247 PAs in high A ball. He was just promoted to AA. He's a better prospect than Perkins and closer to the majors.

RHB have a .528 OPS off Lindstrom this year. He's allowed an earned run in 8 of his 40 appearances (20%).

RHB have a .676 OPS off DeFratus (along with a .364 OBP), and he's given up an earned run in 7 of his 25 appearances.

I like DeFratus and think he's a nice piece to the lower-half of the bullpen, with the potential to be an eighth inning/ninth inning guy down the line. But he is the second best arm in the bullpen right now, and the team would be a hell of a lot better off with Lindstrom in that role.

Actually, I would've liked Lindstrom and Howell in that role. Many of us wanted 2-3 signings, and while Adams' signing was supported at the time, Uehara was clearly the better option when you boil it down to salary alone (and the fact that he wasn't coming off a serious surgery).

Signing Uehara/Howell/Lindstrom would've been a one year commitment to all three pitchers for something like $9.95 million between the 3 of them. So one year/9.95 million for 3/7 of the bullpen. I don't think it would've really been that hard to do. All three of those names were mentioned quite a bit here in the offseason by people who wanted the bullpen improved from the outside.

Instead, Amaro agreed with those who wanted to go with the young studs in AAA, and we're stuck with that now.

KAS: Kelly Dugan was drafted in 2009

"Instead, Amaro agreed with those who wanted to go with the young studs in AAA, and we're stuck with that now."

And as BAP alluded to last night, we should be probably be thankful for that. With all the right bullpen moves we'd still suck, but not enough to stop Ruben for trading away whats left of the farm system for a failed wild card chase.

If I had to spitball a top 10 right now:

1. Biddle
2. Franco
3. Crawford
4. Quinn
5. Dugan
6. Sandburg
7. Joseph
8. Tocci
9. Asche
10. Cozens

I must be missing someone. Biddle & Franco could be swapped. What happened to all the organizational pitching talent. Wasn't that long ago the list was nearly all pitchers (relief pitchers to boot!)

I am currently reading The Rotation and got to the part where the Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt.

On a whim I looked up Jonathan Villar's stats to see where he is at this point since I remember many people bemoaning his loss in that deal.

He currently is in AAA sporting a .283/.345/.455/.800 slash line which is good. He however has 17 errors on the season for a .957 fielding percentage. So his bat is good, his glove still sucks.

Iceman: Yeah, but my point is that you're cherry-picking the pitchers who have had good seasons that you wish Amaro had signed.

As others have pointed out, Brandon Lyon was viewed pretty similarly to someone like Lindstrom in the offseason (I believe awh repeatedly called for Amaro to sign Lyon as an extra arm like you're calling for). He was just DFA'ed. Same with Jon Rauch, who has a 7.56 ERA. Chad Durbin, coming off a season very similar to Lindstrom's last year, same thing.

Lindstrom 2012: 47 IP, 2.67 ERA, 2.86 K/BB, 1.25 WHIP
Durbin 2012: 61 IP, 3.10 ERA, 1.75 K/BB, 1.31 WHIP

So yes, if he had signed veteran reliever A (Lindstrom), they would be better. But had he signed veteran relievers B (Lyon), C (Rauch), or D (Durbin), the Phils would be in the same crappy position they're in now.

I understand you advocated for Lindstrom, and yes, he's beeen better than most of our relievers (though he's actually been a lot worse than he was in 2012.) But he wasn't really that distinguishable from a whole group of cheap, veteran RH relievers, most of whom ended up being as bad as the guys we currently have.

The BP might improve if they found someone who could throw strikes.Walks ,3-1,2-0 counts make pitching difficult.

I'll bet that Villar ends up sticking at SS in the major leagues.

He makes too many errors, but every single scouting report says he has all the tools you want in a defensive SS.

If Villar doesn't make it in the bigs, it will be because he doesn't have the discipline to lay off major-league breaking stuff at the plate. It won't be because of defense.

"inconsistent, sloppy defender..."

That sounds exactly like what you want in a defensive SS.

Another swing and a miss from JTroll

How would ya'll feel if we traded someone like Kelly Dugan for Jose Veras or Steve Cishek?

"How would ya'll feel if we traded someone like Kelly Dugan for Jose Veras or Steve Cishek?"

I'd feel like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. That would be absolute insanity.

The Truth Injection: Duh! I was even looking at his stats. Must have been a carry over from Perkins.

Amaro quoted in a radio interview:

"If Howard is regulated to being a platoon player, he's a very expensive platoon player, and he needs to be better. I know he's struggling and he's not happy, but neither are we. He needs to be better. I think he's going to be better, but right now he's getting the job done"

What a f'n moron. Here's what Howard did in 2009 vs LHP before Amaro gave him a $125M extension in early 2010.

2009: .207/.298/.356 - .653 OPS

Now in 2013, Amaro realizes he might be a platoon player?


TTI: Ah, I forgot. You've seen him play so many times that you are 100% convinced that he can't play SS in the big leagues.

I predicted something in the future (if he doesn't make it in the bigs, it will be due to his bat, not his glove, and that he will stick for at least some time at SS in the show). You say I'm already wrong? Interesting argument.

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